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Have you ever been to the Pastor's home?


Jody
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I'm a pastor's wife. We've never had any church members over. We live in a split level house. Many of the people in the church are older and could not navigate the stairs. I am chronically ill. Entertaining is very difficult for me physically. My dh's busiest time is the weekends when most people entertain because he's preparing for church or cleaning up after it - even after church on Sunday. Our house is old and falling apart. That also makes entertaining difficult.

 

ETA: No one in our congregation has ever invited us to their home either.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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In my experience, it varies based on the size of the church. It probably also depends on the pastor and his wife's experiences in church as they grew up (so they might not be used to the idea of having people over, rather than having gatherings at church). I'm a pastor's kid, and we had people over a lot, but not necessarily every Sunday, or on Sundays at all. We were also invited to people's houses fairly often. But that was a small-ish church, with Sunday morning attendance of around 100 or so.

 

The church dh and I attend has about 550+ on Sunday mornings. We've never been to the pastor's house or heard of any gatherings there. We also haven't invited him and his wife over yet, although I would like to do that someday.

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We were attending a church for over a year now. I gather that they never seem to have people over. Some of the church's I have been in they have company most Sundays.

 

Maybe it is an old fashion thing!

 

We have been to ours, however...

I don't blame many pastors for choosing not to open their homes to just anyone. There can be some real doozies who come to church and think they have a right to every part of the pastor's life. :)

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As a PK, we had people over, but generally not on Sunday.

 

My parents always thought it was important to have open houses every so often so people could see what was happening at the parsonage, since it was owned by the church. Mom commented, though, that not all pastors felt that way. Mostly I thought it was annoying to have to go into hyperdrive to clean up for a bunch of people to wander around our house and poke their noses into our stuff (I was a typical kid, in other words).

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Well, I actually live there. :001_smile:

 

When we came to this dual parish, we decided to hold a cookout at our house annually in the summer where we provide the meat and drinks and everyone else brings a potluck dish. That is our entertaining for the year, rather than keeping track of who we've had over and how many times, gearing up by cleaning and worrying about the cooking, etc. We have also have the ladies group over for their meeting when they have the Christmas cookie exchange and also for a decompression session after an annual kids event.

 

Erica in OR

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We have been to ours, however...

I don't blame many pastors for choosing not to open their homes to just anyone. There can be some real doozies who come to church and think they have a right to every part of the pastor's life. :)

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

As a PK, can I hear an Amen?!?!?

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I'll jump in this one as a pastor's wife and give my two cents.

 

At our last church we planned specific nights and invited church members to our home for food and fellowship, a "getting to know each other" kind of thing, and had very little response. We had a few families in the church that ended up being good friends and were in our home often, but on the whole the people seemed to want to stay away. :001_huh: Maybe they were trying to tell us something? :001_smile:

 

We are in the beginning stages of planting a new church now so we will meet as small groups in homes for a while. We are looking forward to a more intimate, relational experience!

 

 

BTW - Sundays are NEVER my first choice for having people over for lunch or dinner as Sundays tend to be very busy and hectic for this pastor's family and my DH is tired. We usually reserve Tue - Fri for 'get togethers'. Occassionally a Saturday.

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Well we have, but our son dated his daughter for a few years. Otherwise, we probably would not have ever been there. We have quite a large church. I do not think that a pastor has to open his home. Pastors are so busy all the time, I think that home should be the one place that they can just relax.:)

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No. I don't even know WHERE my pastor lives. lol He doesn't live in our parsonage, our youth pastor and his wife live there. Our pastor has 5 children and needed a larger space. I think I would feel uncomfortable visiting my pastor's home. Not sure why. Maybe that need to be "on your very best behavior" vibe (that is mostly self imposed). lol

 

That being said, my FIL is a pastor and I'm in his house all the time. His congregations is welcomed any time and they are often invited to family functions. His church only has about 30 members though.

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As a PK, we had people over, but generally not on Sunday.

 

My parents always thought it was important to have open houses every so often so people could see what was happening at the parsonage, since it was owned by the church. Mom commented, though, that not all pastors felt that way. Mostly I thought it was annoying to have to go into hyperdrive to clean up for a bunch of people to wander around our house and poke their noses into our stuff (I was a typical kid, in other words).

 

 

:lol: Another PK here! I think it depends on the wife of the pastor (or husband of the pastor I guess!) It depends on whether that spouse sees their role as part of the ministry. My mother certainly did. She ran the religious education in most of the churches we were at. We also always lived in a parsonage that was usually right next to the church. My father would have bible studies at the house regularly during the week. Our house was for the most part an extension of the church.

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Our pastor and his wife hosted a...luncheon/dinner thing (I think?) when I was pregnant with ds5. A year or so later I also attended a woman's book study (Captivating, same authors as Wild at Heart) that the pastor's wife was leading. I haven't been back since, although they have hosted a tea and maybe some other things (that timing wise I wasn't able to attend.)

 

We have never been invited as just a family, but we've never invited them, either (no room!)

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We were attending a church for over a year now. I gather that they never seem to have people over. Some of the church's I have been in they have company most Sundays.

 

Maybe it is an old fashion thing!

 

Yes. But only a handful of times. They have had a Christmas party there a couple times. And then something else as well. I *really* needed his signature on something once and I stopped by hoping he was there.

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I've never gotten the way most congregations view their pastors. We went to several churches over the years before we settled in, and only in one of them did we not visit the pastor. Two pw are very dear friends. Our current pastors are here enough that I can say stuff like, "we're in town, walk on in, don't let the orange cat in" or "don't bring that deer urine into my laundry room."

 

Their wives are much younger than me, but easy to be around, and they come visit us too. Close to having my sisters here.

 

Our church is big but not mega. We are divided up into home groups that meet weekly. Our pastor leads a group, associate pastor another group and the elders lead groups too. I think we're a friendly bunch.

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My parents had the Catholic priests over for dinner a lot. At least several times a month. I don't recall going to the rectory for dinner but we would go for tea. It was my impression that they usually ate at the homes of church families because they lived alone, most often did not know how to cook (older generation of men) and with the whole vow of poverty thing eating out was rare. There was one priest in particular who loved to eat cereal and all the church ladies would cook him big dinners. He was friendly with my parents who led the youth group at the church (my brother was in it) and he would often come by after dinner to eat cereal and talk with my parents. He and my dad would sing and play the guitar together and my mom always bought his fave cereal to have around. :tongue_smilie: He was a nice man, brought us over books a lot. He was the associate priest of something and we saw him weekly or more. The others were older and that was more of a monthly thing for each one.

 

Years later my parents grew frustrated with the Catholic church and spent a number of years at one Episcopal church and then another one when we moved away for a year. At the first one, the priest had children the same age as me and my brothers and we became friends. We frequently spent the night at the rectory and vice versa, and our parents had us all together for dinner a number of times. At the second church, I don't think my parents ever clicked with the environment or got friendly with the priest. After that my mom went back to a Catholic church and we were all grown up.

 

Now, I occasionally have the minister (my husband and I do not go to the Catholic church anymore) and his partner over for a meal and we go to their house about 2x a year, usually with other church members. His partner is a ridiculously kind and nice man who always pulls out his old legos and engineering toys for my older son. I do occasionally have a friend who is a Catholic priest over for drinks and conversation when he is in town but I do not go to his church.

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The church we used to attend was very very small, maybe 60 in attendance each Sunday, and the pastor lived next door with his family. We were there often.

 

The church we go to now is a lot bigger. I've never been to our senior pastor's home, but I've been to our children's pastor's home once and to our youth pastor's house several times (he and his wife are good friends of ours and I'm a youth leader). We have a new worship pastor, and I've never been to his home.

 

I'm perfectly happy with our pastors' homes not being "open" to church members. They need and deserve a safe and quiet place, a sacred place if you will, where they don't have to be "on duty."

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I am a pastor's wife. I think that hospitality is very important, though harder for some of us than others (it is not a gift of mine!!). I am so exhausted on Sundays, primarily because of handling all 4 of my kids alone, and the way our services are set up we have service, fellowship lunch at the church, service and then many run home to get some rest! But, we try to open our home. I haven't been very good at it. I think hospitality is not ONLY for the pastor's family, but elders and every single member. Scriptures command pastors and elders to be given to hospitality (1Timothy) and Paul tells us all to seek to show hospitality in Romans 12.

 

It had a huge impact on my becoming a believer (my previous pastor having opened his home numerous times along with others in the congregation) and now here at the church my husband pastors to feel connected and as a family. We are smaller so much easier than mega churches. :001_smile:

 

I say, invite the pastor and his family over. That will show that it is important to you and maybe they will return the favor.

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I'm a PW.

 

We have people over, and I don't do the crazy rush to make our home look perfect either. We are real people with real kids (who clean their own rooms - thus the crumpled paper peeping out from the drawer:tongue_smilie:). You would not believe how many times I've gotten comments of sheer relief that my kids spill goldfish crackers in their carseats, leave legos on the kitchen table, and smear handprints on the windows too.;) (as if being a pw is akin to being Martha Stewart:lol:)

 

 

As far as entertaining, as in a more formal dinner, we don't do that often. We certainly don't consider it a part of the ministry of the church when we do.

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Ds spends the weekend at their house quite often, but we don't hang out as parents. Ds is very active in the church and is planning to become a pastor himself. Ds and their son were part of the same homeschool/public school hybrid and they have been friends for years.

 

I have not had the pastor to our house, but his son has been here often. We host youth events quite a bit, so the youth pastors have all been over for youth events, but not simply as a 'couple coming for dinner'.

 

I have been to his house, many times for ds, and have always been graciously invited in. I would consider he and his wife more than just a pastor, they are our friends.

 

Last year, when the pastor and his wife were away on vacation, his son painted the house. I went over and spent a few hours cleaning to help the boys, but again I was there for a reason, it wasn't just for socializing.

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These questions always make me crazy because they are complicated. How well you get to know your pastor depends on the size of church, the personality and time commitments of the clergy, you, etc.

 

I have to laugh at the thought of having people over for lunch on Sunday. After a long morning at church including a social time at the end, I drive the college students back to school, come home clean up and cook dinner and go pick up the students for Bible study and dinner. Dh takes communion and visits the housebound, finishes up getting music and Bible Study together, changes clothes and sometimes gets a 1/2 nap before the students come over.

 

Most of the church has no idea that this happens every week. :D You know once Sunday Services are over the Pastors work is done for the week.

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I'm a PW.

 

We have people over, and I don't do the crazy rush to make our home look perfect either. We are real people with real kids (who clean their own rooms - thus the crumpled paper peeping out from the drawer:tongue_smilie:). You would not believe how many times I've gotten comments of sheer relief that my kids spill goldfish crackers in their carseats, leave legos on the kitchen table, and smear handprints on the windows too.;) (as if being a pw is akin to being Martha Stewart:lol:)

 

 

As far as entertaining, as in a more formal dinner, we don't do that often. We certainly don't consider it a part of the ministry of the church when we do.

 

:iagree: I generally do more cleaning on Saturdays regardless of whether or not we have people over. But we do not put on any kind of front or show. There are real Martha Stuart like pastor's wives out there but not me!! Everyone knows I'm tired and that it is the fellowship we find important. My kids get naughty. Holding your pastor's family to higher biblical standards than your own is unkind. There are special requirements for a pastor in scripture but not perfection.

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I go to a pretty large church, and our pastor has been at our church less than a year, and I have been to his home. Actually, he and his wife invited some of the youth over to watch the Super Bowl (they have a teen daughter), and so I went to pick up my son. I was invited in and stayed a little while. I also serve as a women's Bible Study leader with the pastor's wife, so I know her better than she might know some in the church. However, our pastor has an amazing gift of getting to know church members, even though our church is so large.

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We have been to ours, however...

I don't blame many pastors for choosing not to open their homes to just anyone. There can be some real doozies who come to church and think they have a right to every part of the pastor's life. :)

 

Yes, I think that pastors often need a respite from the flock! They need a sanctuary and if the church is their office, home should be a safe zone!

 

I don't think it odd that pastors don't entertain congregants. I do find it sad that more congregants don't show hospitality to their shepherds.

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People that don't realize pws are human drive me nuts.

 

I realized that my good friend Karen and I were going to be good friends the first time I talked to her on the phone. I had never met her, and we were talking on the phone, and she said "Hold on a second, I have to go yell at my kids."

 

That cemented it right there.

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Most Sundays, many pastors can be found sleeping in the recliner after an exhausting day. :001_smile:

 

We have guests probably half the days of the year, but they aren't usually church members. Tonight it was a mom who was also waiting for her son during basketball practice. Yesterday it was dd's friends working on a school project together. Tomorrow our guests will be friends from a former congregation an hour away.

 

We've had members give us gift cards for restaurants as Christmas gifts. They brought a meal for everyone helping unpack a moving truck when we moved in. But only two families have ever had us over for a meal. No problem.

 

It's also hard to "be fair" and keep from hurting feelings. Open Houses are a nice idea, but can be stressful to pull off.

 

I wouldn't worry that you haven't been invited to your pastor's home.

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I'm also married to a pastor.

 

We used to have people over for dinner at least once a week - often more.

 

I hated it. I don't enjoy cooking, and cooking for people I don't know feels very stressful. And this may sound weird, but the huge amount of strangers in and out of our home (in and out of church, in and out of our lives) grew very, very tiresome.

 

We don't have many people over anymore. (Although we did just have someone over this week, actually). When people express that they'd like to 'get together with us', we try to get a babysitter and meet them out somewhere. It is must less stressful for me!

 

I also feel compelled to add that our church has homegroups. So, every Thursday night we meet at someone's home and we all have dinner together and discuss the Bible. It is fun and comfortable and if you are new to our church you will be invited to participate.

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I don't blame many pastors for choosing not to open their homes to just anyone. There can be some real doozies who come to church and think they have a right to every part of the pastor's life. :)

Aiiiyyyeee. :lol:

 

Thank you for bringing up those hidden memories of certain parishioners whom I dreaded as an Associate Pastor's wife years ago. The irony of this is that hubby is going back into the ministry as an Associate Pastor with a new church -- oh, and I know there will be some "doozies" I have to schmooze with. Sunday in my opinion is not relaxing, one bit. ;)

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Aiiiyyyeee. :lol:

 

Thank you for bringing up those hidden memories of certain parishioners whom I dreaded as an Associate Pastor's wife years ago. The irony of this is that hubby is going back into the ministry as an Associate Pastor with a new church -- oh, and I know there will be some "doozies" I have to schmooze with. Sunday in my opinion is not relaxing, one bit. ;)

 

 

:grouphug: We've had one *bad* experience, but we are in a great little church now. Reading some of these articles really helped me feel better about another ministry position. I haven't met a "doozie" here yet. (Though I know exactly what you mean by the term.;)) Hoping your new church is a fresh new start.:001_smile:

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In my experience, it varies based on the size of the church. It probably also depends on the pastor and his wife's experiences in church as they grew up (so they might not be used to the idea of having people over, rather than having gatherings at church). I'm a pastor's kid, and we had people over a lot, but not necessarily every Sunday, or on Sundays at all. We were also invited to people's houses fairly often. But that was a small-ish church, with Sunday morning attendance of around 100 or so.

 

The church dh and I attend has about 550+ on Sunday mornings. We've never been to the pastor's house or heard of any gatherings there. We also haven't invited him and his wife over yet, although I would like to do that someday.

 

Our church has about 600 people and our pastor hosts a small group for newcomers every fall and every January for 12 weeks each time. I think he's been doing that for something like 19 years. He knows the vast majority of the congregation by name. If you miss a Sunday he makes sure you get the church bulletin in your mailbox - he actually notices when someone isn't there.

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I am not quite sure how to respond. I am a priest wife. A homeschooling priest's wife. I was burned in our last parish. We held open houses often. I was a Sunday school teacher. I did a LOT! I was invited into five family's houses. Five. In a large church. It hurt.

 

In my new parish, nobody expects anything. They hired my husband. They knew they were hiring him and not me. And I am grateful. We have had people over. We have had open houses. But, it is not expected. My family also has baseball parties, karate parties, birthday parties, and lots of friends over. We do have a life outside the church too.

 

If you want to get to know your pastor, please invite him and his family over to your house. Please don't expect it out of them. And we all know, in reality, dinner at the pastor's house is more the wife's responsibility than the husband's. Your church hired him. Just him. Please don't expect her to work. If she does, great! But, don't expect it.

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Your church hired him. Just him. Please don't expect her to work. If she does, great! But, don't expect it.

 

This is completely opposite of how I feel. I grew up a pastor's daughter and my parents were a team. And although my husband is not currently in a position of ministry, if he takes on one we are a team. I can't imagine it being any different. I view our pastors and our elder board members as a team with their wives. That is what marriage is about. You are one. It is odd to me when a person leads a co-ed Sunday school class but his/her spouse attends a different one. It just goes against what marriage is for dh and I.

 

Yes, it is a lot of work but ministry always is. That shouldn't just fall on his shoulders. It's not just another job.

 

I do totally agree that inviting your pastor and his family to your house is a great way to get to know them and you shouldn't expect to be invited to their house.

 

As far being to our pastor's house - yes, we were invited for lunch a couple weeks after we started attending. His wife cooked the meal but those visiting pitched in to help. Our pastor carried the social load. So how they do it, it is a joint effort and doesn't just fall on the pastor's wife. However, their inviting us over was huge in our feeling like we might actually be a fit with the church.

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I am not quite sure how to respond. I am a priest wife. A homeschooling priest's wife. I was burned in our last parish. We held open houses often. I was a Sunday school teacher. I did a LOT! I was invited into five family's houses. Five. In a large church. It hurt.

 

In my new parish, nobody expects anything. They hired my husband. They knew they were hiring him and not me. And I am grateful. We have had people over. We have had open houses. But, it is not expected. My family also has baseball parties, karate parties, birthday parties, and lots of friends over. We do have a life outside the church too.

 

If you want to get to know your pastor, please invite him and his family over to your house. Please don't expect it out of them. And we all know, in reality, dinner at the pastor's house is more the wife's responsibility than the husband's. Your church hired him. Just him. Please don't expect her to work. If she does, great! But, don't expect it.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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My husband has the spiritual gift of pastor and teacher. He does care for and reach out to people to meet their spiritual needs. But he does not have the gift of hospitality.

 

I have other spiritual gifts. My husband did not insist that I have any certain gift to marry him - including the gift of hospitality. I also reach out to people and care for them but while I am capable of hosting a gathering, it is not what I am good at.

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At our old Baptist church of of about 150 members or thereabouts, yes. At our current nondenom. church of around a few thousand, then no. :)

 

I'd never been to a pastor's house growing up in a Methodist church. The little Baptist one though was quite nice for that- we went to quite a few families' homes for dinner. That was new to us, as I said, but it was a great way to get to know people further than the handshake on Sunday.

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Only when we attended a very small church....about 25 people on a full day. Most of the time it was the pastor and his wife, their two kids and spouses and grandkids, us, and three other families. The whole church went to lunch every week.

 

Other than that, I have always attended very large churches. We are currently in a hurch with thousands of weekly attendees. The pastor has a monthly get to know you dinner at tue church.

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As far as entertaining, as in a more formal dinner, we don't do that often. We certainly don't consider it a part of the ministry of the church when we do.

 

Our preacher at our old church made this very clear. I really felt sorry for them - they were missionaries overseas for 10 years - came back to the States into a huge congregation in a very visible role. If they invited one family over, 2000 other families would want to be invited too, kwim? They never made a big deal out of it, but when people got persnickety about it he made clear to them that his ministry was to the congregation as a whole and he couldn't be effective if he was trying to run a restaurant at his home as well. I respected him a lot for standing up for his family by giving them space to be themselves without the PW and PK hats on for a little bit.

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My husband is a pastor. We have people over for a meal (a lot of Sunday) about 2-4 times a month, sometimes more. I do it because I feel it is a good way to know members and visitors and to make them feel welcome. Also, I want to set a good example of hospitality to my kids. I would really like it if people had us over as well, we maybe go over to people's houses maybe once every 6 months. My guess is people don't have us over because we have 3 small kids, they are too busy and women don't cook as much as they use to in year's past.

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Good golly, I love my Pastor, wife and family, we have them over often and they are always having peeps over. We enjoy and feel very relaxed at their home and for that matter in church also. I respect him and his office, but enjoy laughing and talking with them outside of the church building. Although we seem to have a pretty good time in church too!

I too was a pastor's wife, and we have always had a ton of peeps thru our home. My kids get excited and love to "serve" when people come over. They are very hospitable. My hubs is a Bible Study leader, so we have 20plus peeps over every other Friday, and I set out a spread of food, and am amazed at the giving of those that come, bringing extra things to share and friends to participate in the study. It is one of the highlights of our weeks! The study finish and we have been known to still be "fellowshipping" late with ping pong tournaments, karaoke, teen girls painting nails in one room, conversations in another, and me smiling taking it all in!

 

We do shut their rooms, and if visitor kids are there, it is only by invitation of my children are they allowed in their rooms. We have a basket of age appropriate toys etc for kids.

I don't scrub my house, or fix exotic things, they eat what we eat, and the laughter and fellowship is what fills my heart! ♥

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yes, we've been to his home a couple of times. my husband is the worship pastor at our church & we ate dinner with the lead pastor and his family when we first moved here. we also went there for a staff seafood fest (all of the pastors went fishing that day, then their families joined them to enjoy it - yum!!). we've never had him to our home though. as for him having a lot of people over, i imagine he does his fair share, but there's no way it can involve the majority. there is just no way he & his family could or should be expected to do that. we have multiple campuses and only one lead pastor, ykwim? i know he is available to his congregation, but to physically accept all invitations or extend invitations would just be too much.

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Two pastors of churches we've attended we've been very close with and have been to their houses many times, not necessarily for church events. Another pastor we didn't know and never went to his house.

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